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The sexual abuse scandal in Palm Beach diocese is a significant episode in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States and Ireland.

Joseph Symons affair

The diocese had been rocked by revelations of sexual abuse against Joseph Keith Symons, who resigned as ordinary in 1998 after admitting he molested five boys while he was a pastor.[1]

Anthony O'Connell affair

Symons' successor Anthony O'Connell resigned in 2002 after admitting to molesting an underage seminarian. When faced with the allegation, O'Connell held a press conference to admit his wrongdoing and publicly apologized to the man.[2]

Role of Bishop Thomas Daily

In 2002, Rev. Thomas Daily (former Bishop of Palm Beach) was criticized for his past involvement in cases of priests accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.[3][4] He has acknowledged his "profound regret" over some of his decisions in the Boston Archdiocese.[4]

Bishop O'Malley intervenes

After serving in Fall River for ten years, Sean O'Malley was appointed bishop of Palm Beach in Florida, on September 3, 2002. He was installed on the following October 19.[5][6] He served the Diocese of Palm Beach for less than a year before being appointed to return to Massachusetts to succeed Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston.

Pastoral work of Gerald Barbarito

Bishop Gerald Barbarito has repeatedly pledged to remove from the ministry any priests found to have abused a child and to help abuse victims in any way the Church can, but he has seen no need to publicly name accused priests.[7]

See also


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